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Bye bye Scottish West Highland sea-trout


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#21 Jaffa

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 02:20 PM

[ 31. May 2005, 09:09 AM: Message edited by: Jaffa ]
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#22 Cranfield

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Posted 28 May 2005 - 08:14 PM

If this discussion continues, I hope it doesn't go off line.
I know of quite a few people who have been following it with great interest.


I'm not sure that Mr?) Sandison has advanced the cause of The Salmon Farm Protest Group "Limited" (?).
"I gotta go where its warm, I gotta fly to saint somewhere "

#23 Sportsman

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 04:06 AM

I for one would like it to continue. I have always "assumed" that salmon farming was a bad thing and still have worries about the collapse of migratory fish in the west Coast rivers. Having said that Jaffa's arguments are very persuasive. The fact is I don't know or understand enough about the subject to make an informed choice. I also don't feel that Mr Sandison's website would help me much in making that choice.
Mr Sandison lost a lot of credibility for me when he stated (or possibly agreed with the statement, I can't remember now) that pike were not indigenous to Scottish Lochs and had been illegally stocked by pike anglers. This statement was made in a lurid newspaper article which suggested that Scottish trout were under threat from the freshwater equivalent of the great white shark.

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#24 Sportsman

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 04:22 PM

It has been pointed out to me that I may have misunderstood Mr Sandisons comments with reference to Pike. If that is the case I apologise. I remember the article, which suggested that all Scottish wildlife was under threat from the pike, but who said what I don't remember clearly (my age you know).
Regards
Dave

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#25 Sportsman

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 04:31 PM

I did what I should have done in the first place and looked up the article.
It appeared in the Scotsman in May 2004
This is the article so sorry Bruce, I retract my apology!

"Rogue anglers threatening fish stocks with pike"

KURT BAYER


IT HAS been described as the freshwater equivalent of the great white shark: a ferocious predator that can weigh more than 50lbs, armed with rows of razor-sharp teeth, and which devours its own.

Now evidence is growing that thrill-seeking anglers are deliberately introducing the fearsome pike to some of Scotlandís most prized trout and salmon waters.

Wildlife groups say the voracious fish threatens to wipe out native species in some of the countryís most celebrated lochs and rivers.

Pike fishing is a sport which attracts growing numbers of anglers, who pursue their quarry with a grim determination and will travel hundreds of miles to catch a record-sized fish.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Scotland claims there is hard evidence that anglers are deliberately releasing adult pike into Scottish waterways purely for sport, even though they are not native to northern waters.

The fear of the WWF and other groups is that pike will devastate native brown trout stocks and pose a danger to already dwindling numbers of char, a game fish of the salmon-trout family.

The information has been provided to the WWF by the Spey River Board and local anglers. Loch Ness is another famous waterway into which pike have been introduced for sporting purposes.

Mike Donaghy, of WWF Scotland, said: "We have a group of selfish and irresponsible pike anglers who see it as their duty to move pike around and populate more rivers and lochs to suit themselves.

"My main concern is that they will feast on brown trout and char. But worse than that, there are many lochs where there are no fish and they have a rather unique ecosystem where the top predator is a newt, and if pike end up in there they will eat everything and it will be a complete ecological disaster."

Rogue anglers are also alleged to have released pike bait - including perch, rudd, roach and carp - into waterways where they may not previously have existed, posing a disease risk to native species.

Donaghy said: "Pike are ferocious and very hungry. They continue feeding way past being full - they just keep eating. Females are often found stuffed-full because they are highly opportunistic and lay even more eggs the bigger they are. So you could go and catch a load of pike, but if you miss a few big females then they are there to stay."

The Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain claims the fish has existed in Scottish waters for at least 10,000 years.

This is contested by many Scottish experts who believe the pike found in Highland rivers and lochs are only there because they were artificially introduced.

One of Scotlandís top fish biology experts, Ron Greer, believes that pike is not native to the Highlands.

He said: "Moving a pike to the Highlands is like moving rats to the South Seas. We worry about grey squirrels replacing the red squirrel but we should regard pike in the Highlands as an underwater grey squirrel or underwater mink.

"This clandestine movement of pike to new unnatural environments is causing a terrible effect. The responsible pike anglers donít do that, but they are not the danger. As usual, it is an irresponsible small band of misfits that are providing these dangers."

Greerís views were echoed by leading fishing writer and journalist Bruce Sandison. He said: "I have no knowledge of any indigenous species of pike in our northern lochs, but they have definitely spread. There are now pike to be found in Loch Garry, Loch Loyne and waters in Wester Ross - all placed there by anglers.

"It would concern me greatly if anybody maliciously introduced pike into these waters, because it does irreparable damage to the natural environment.

"There is no law in Scotland that prevents people from introducing other species, although there is in England and Wales. That seems to me to be very remiss on the part of the Scottish Executive not to address this issue."

Andrew Wallace, director of the Association of Salmon Fisheries Board, admitted that coarse angling was "extremely important" to Scotlandís economy as it generates around £130m every year.

However, he added: "It is essential that at some point in the future some form of control or regulation of these transfers is brought into effect."

Last night, Robert Murray, general secretary of the Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain, said: "We condemn 100% any angler who illegally introduces a new species of fish to a water and interferes with a balanced environment."

But he said predators were "essential" to a balanced natural environment and to help maintain a healthy stock of prey fish by removing the old, weak and diseased fish from the water.

"The best controller of the pike population in a water is the pike itself - large pike eat lots of small pike, maintaining a balanced predator population that is not overrun with small jack pike," he added.

A Scottish Executive spokesman said they would be looking at the transfer of species between waterways as part of a review of freshwater fishing.

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#26 Sportsman

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 04:53 PM

I have a vision of dastardly pike anglers transporting pike in a bucket to stock Loch Ness. Given the size of the water (largest body of water by volume in the UK I believe) how many trips would it take to be reasonably certain of stocking to a density where it is likely you would ever see a pike again. :)
Maybe someone else can do the maths.
As for Pike breeding, wouldn't that require a certain density so that they can actually find each other :confused:
Just doesn't sound likely
Dave

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#27 Sandison

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 05:36 PM

Sportsman,

Now found the comments made by me that gave you offence. They were made, over the telephone, to the writer of the article. They amount to approximately 80 words in an article of some 1380 words, over which I had no editorial control and did not see until publication.

You might well have been offended by the tone the article took, and you have every right to be so offended, but to blame me for something I didn't write, or for views expressed by others over which I have no control, is, I think, unfair.

I confirm again here that I would be: "greatly concerned if anybody maliciously introduced pike into these waters," as indeed I think you would be also.

Bruce

Rogue anglers threatening fish stocks with pike: Kurt Bayer, The Scotsman, Sunday 16th May 2004

"Greerís views were echoed by leading fishing writer and journalist Bruce Sandison. He said: "I have no knowledge of any indigenous species of pike in our northern lochs, but they have definitely spread. There are now pike to be found in Loch Garry, Loch Loyne and waters in Wester Ross - all placed there by anglers.

"It would concern me greatly if anybody maliciously introduced pike into these waters, because it does irreparable damage to the natural environment.

There is no law in Scotland that prevents people from introducing other species, although there is in England and Wales. That seems to me to be very remiss on the part of the Scottish Executive not to address this issue."

#28 Sportsman

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Posted 29 May 2005 - 06:14 PM

"One of Scotlandís top fish biology experts, Ron Greer, believes that pike is not native to the Highlands.

He said: "Moving a pike to the Highlands is like moving rats to the South Seas. We worry about grey squirrels replacing the red squirrel but we should regard pike in the Highlands as an underwater grey squirrel or underwater mink.

"This clandestine movement of pike to new unnatural environments is causing a terrible effect. The responsible pike anglers donít do that, but they are not the danger. As usual, it is an irresponsible small band of misfits that are providing these dangers."

Greerís views were echoed by leading fishing writer and journalist Bruce Sandison. "

Sorry Bruce but when it say's his views were "echoed by" that suggests agreement.
The fact is that you have some standing among fishers in Scotland and the use of your name adds credibility to what I consider to be an inaccurate and offensive article.
I didn't blame you for the article, I said that you had made, or agreed with the statement that Pike were not indiginous to Scottish Lochs and had been illegally stocked by pike anglers.
That seems to be the case.
However, I would be much happier if you would continue the thread on Salmon Farms as I for on am finding it very interesting
Dave Olley

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#29 jim doyle

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 12:02 AM

As a pike angler of some years I seem to remember fishing the west coast lochs in the seventies for pike and I certainly wasnt a pioneer of this area, Ray Brown and friends fished for them during the late sixties. Loch garve was noted as the most notherly loch holding pike on the east coast. The spread of pike to loch ness would I hazard a guess have been through the loch onich calidonian canal, not by the indiscriminate stocking by anglers. I dont condon any unplanned or ill thought out stocking of fish to any water, but barbel in the tay, thats an exciting if heretical thought, mind you they would take the place of the " slowly decreacing "salmon stock. :D :D Sorry Chris the body of evidence is moving against the position of salmon farms even if most of it is circumstantial, surely the dramatic collapse of the west coast sea trout fisheries is of concern to us all if only for the selfish pleasure of trying to catch one. The silly headlines do no good to anyone, I feel the onus should be on the fish farmers to isolate the problem and if its not down to them offer help to stop the demise of local popullations of fish in the areas concerned, it would make for good public relations if nothing else!! All this before we start on the detremental effect that rainboe trout have on the wild stocks of scotland!!!!!!!

#30 Jaffa

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 12:47 AM

[ 31. May 2005, 04:30 AM: Message edited by: Jaffa ]
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